Gra­ve re­gis­ter to be up­da­ted

George Herald - - News -

A­li­da de Beer

Sin­ce 2016, re­cords of gra­ves in the acti­ve gra­vey­ards in Ge­or­ge ha­ve been kept up to da­te through the use of GPS coor­di­na­tes, ac­cor­ding to the Ge­or­ge Municipality. Com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons chief C­han­tel Ed­wards-K­lo­se re­spon­ded to con­cern ai­red by a mem­ber of the pu­blic a­bout the gra­ve re­gis­ter. "P­ri­or to 2016, re­la­ti­ve­ly accu­ra­te re­cords we­re kept by the fa­mi­lies, c­hurch as­so­ci­a­ti­ons and the municipality. It is the in­ten­ti­on of the municipality to up­da­te the re­gis­ter to re­flect the lo­ca­ti­on of e­very gra­ve within the next two y­e­ars," she said. She said mem­bers of the pu­blic with que­ries can pro­vi­de de­tails to the municipality's Me­a­de S­treet of­fi­ce and of­fi­ci­als will re­view the re­gis­ters to pro­vi­de a re­spon­se.

The con­cer­ned ci­ti­zen, who wan­ted to re­main a­no­ny­mous, al­so que­s­ti­o­ned the ma­na­ge­ment of the Ge­or­ge ce­me­te­ry be­cau­se of secti­ons w­he­re gra­ves are not lying in straig­ht li­nes. New gra­ves are al­so ap­pea­ring in the ol­der secti­on of the gra­vey­ard. Ed­wards-K­lo­se ex­plai­ned that at "at a cer­tain point" either the un­der­ta­kers or fa­mi­lies we­re al­lo­wed to ar­ran­ge the dig­ging of gra­ves them­sel­ves. "Un­for­tu­na­te­ly, this has led to so­me of the rows not being u­ni­form­ly straig­ht. This ho­we­ver no lon­ger ta­kes pla­ce."

She said the new gra­ves are ap­pea­ring a­mong the ol­der on­es as a re­sult of cer­tain si­tes that we­re re­ser­ved and not u­sed im­me­di­a­te­ly. "This practi­ce is not en­coura­ged and it re­mains the re­spon­si­bi­li­ty of the fa­mi­ly to cle­ar­ly and per­ma­nent­ly mark the re­ser­ved si­te."

The width be­t­ween gra­ves must be ap­prox­i­ma­te­ly 450mm and the depth a mi­ni­mum of 1m. This is sub­ject to the ty­pe of soil.

The on­ly acti­ve ce­me­te­ries are the York S­treet and T­hem­ba­let­hu gra­vey­ards, as well as the gra­vey­ards in U­ni­on­da­le, Haar­lem and Touws­ran­ten. The Blan­co ce­me­te­ry has been clo­sed to any furt­her bu­ri­als. "It is not cor­rect that bu­ri­als are still ta­king pla­ce the­re. It must be no­ted ho­we­ver that the­re are p­ri­va­te ce­me­te­ries in use in the Blan­co a­rea. All the­se ha­ve been re­pe­a­ted­ly fen­ced and ga­tes are loc­ked. Ho­we­ver, van­da­lism to the ga­tes and theft of the fen­cing are an on­going pro­blem."

Theft of fu­ne­ral flo­wers re­mains a pro­blem in ce­me­te­ries, but fa­mi­lies are al­lo­wed to plant flo­wers, pro­vi­ded the plan­ting does not im­pact on a neig­hbou­ring gra­ve.

The Ge­or­ge Municipality is in dis­cus­si­on with Eden District Municipality re­gar­ding the i­den­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of land for a new ce­me­te­ry.

Van­da­lism and theft of fu­ne­ral flo­wers are a­mong the pro­blems plag­uing gra­vey­ards in Ge­or­ge. P­ho­to: A­li­da de Beer

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